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Schafer concerned over place for smaller studios on next-gen consoles

Friday, 14th December 2012 10:18 GMT By Dave Cook

Double Fine founder Tim Schafer has expressed concerns surrounding next-gen formats, and feels that mid-to-small studios like his own may not have a place on new consoles unless holders like Sony and Microsoft open up in a similar fashion to Steam. Get his musings below.

Speaking with Polygon, Schafer said, “Our fear was that next generation was going to be only big AAA games. It was only going to be a place for Call of Duty and Halo. But we’ve talked to [the console manufacturers], and told people what things would be hard for teams our size with regards to consoles.

“We’d still like to be active in that space, we care about consoles, but unless they open things up a lot more like what we have on Steam… if they opened things up more it would be a more friendly place from our perspective.

“We’ve talked to them about this stuff, and you know, they hear us. They’re big companies and they can’t make changes overnight, but I think they’re taking all of that stuff into consideration. We’ll have to see what happens.”

Double Fine has stepped away from the big-budget console market for some time now, and is focusing on independent titles free from publisher pressure and console sale sensibilities. VG247 spoke with Double Fine on this very matter earlier this year. You can check out our full interview here.

What’s your take on Double Fine’s standing in the industry? Does it have a place in the triple-a console world? Should Sony and Microsoft be doing more to support studios of its size? Let us know below.

Thanks GI.biz.

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6 Comments

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  1. Da Man

    All the best, won’t be missing those.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Goffee

    Why, the big-budget blockbuster is the only game that sells in any volume on consoles. With only a dozen to twenty in production at any one time due to cost and limited publishers, with years between releases, there is plenty of space for smaller devs to thrive with modest-cost games selling decent numbers.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Cobra951

    @2:

    Notch Persson would disagree with your first sentence. So would the folks over at The Behemoth. You don’t hear them complaining about the evils of XBLA. That and PSN are sticking around next gen, no?

    I’m not saying there’s no room for improvement. XNA and XBLIG were efforts to get more small indies involved and publishing, but I feel that outlet fell short. Perhaps rolling some of those ideas into the more credible XBLA next gen would be the right move. I’ll punt to the PS3 savvy about Sony’s best future.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. OlderGamer

    Cobra +1.

    Also I am worried about small and medium budget releases too. But I think so long as there is digital space, we will continue to get the kind of gems we are used to seeing. Heck getting unity on WiiU is a really good sign, lest for Nintendo. MS and Sony have already proven they set aside space for indies.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. viralshag

    It might sound bad but sometimes I think smaller devs and their publishers need to come to the realisation that they are making an average game. Obviously, this isn’t always the case but not every game is deserving of the full-price price tag.

    I think you would see more sales for games such as Of Orcs and Men for example, if they weren’t priced the same as some other titles. While it’s a good game it’s not worth £30 (on the PC) and will most likely be a “sale purchase” for most… if at all.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DSB

    I think Sony and Microsoft are screwing themselves over by keeping those games off the platform. Even if they don’t line their pockets directly, they do offer a diverse and interesting selection, which ultimately makes the customer feel better served.

    That’s old news to most stores on the PC, as well as iTunes.

    Even the biggest supermarkets bother with 1-dollar merchandise at the register. That shit works.

    #6 1 year ago